The dancelike positions of the three nude women in this fanciful landscape recall the choreography of the famed Isadora Duncan, who had just returned to the United States in 1908 to promote her innovative dance movements, based on a free-form style that she attributed to the ancient Greeks. The painting most likely grew out of Davies' familiarity with Duncan's theory that the essence of dance technique rested in natural breathing paralleling the rhythms of the ocean tides--hence the painting's title. In Davies' hands this subject takes on a curious mixture of spirituality, academicism, and modernity that testifies to the eclecticism of his art.
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CaptionArthur B. Davies (American, 1862-1928). Homage to the Ocean, ca. 1908. Oil on canvas, 28 1/16 x 23 1/8 in. (71.3 x 58.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Lillie P. Bliss, 31.276